Wakefield dad swaps selling kitchens for running his own

Ben Hall with his wife and children

Benny’s, a new sandwich shop located at Caldervale Industrial Estate, Wakefield, has officially opened to the public.

Benny’s serves traditional breakfast options and hot drinks from 7.30am and speciality sandwiches, pasties and salad boxes all day. It also has freshly made pizzas made daily to a traditional Italian recipe and baked in the premise’s pizza oven.

The sandwich shop is owned and run by local dad of two, Ben Hall, who decided to pivot from his career as a business development manager to running his own kitchen. His previous jobs involved lots of travel around the country, which meant too much time spent away from his wife and two young daughters.

Mr Hall enjoyed working in a kitchen while at college in Bolton, working his way up from pot wash to chef at an award-winning Bolton restaurant. However, after university he fell into sales, working for top car manufacturers including Audi and BMW before moving into selling kitchens.

It was only during lockdown — when Mr Hall volunteered to help the Wakefield Meals Initiative Legacy, a local community initiative that prepared meals for the vulnerable and people who were having to isolate due to the pandemic — that he decided he wanted to open his own sandwich shop.

“Running my own business has always been an aspiration of mine, I really enjoy cooking but opening a food establishment always felt out of reach,” says Mr. Hall, “as a dad you’re more wary of the risks of starting your own business.

“However, I knew I was unhappy with the time spent away from my family and the pandemic has made a lot of people, myself included, reconsider what’s important in life. Cooking meals for the needy during lockdown made me realise just how much I still love cooking.”

He is keen to maintain a close relationship with local food banks and is already talking to the CGCC food bank about how his business can help the cause.

“Seeing the incredible work that the Wakefield Meals Initiative Legacy did during lockdown makes me proud to live in Wakefield,” said Mr Hall. “Although I’m just finding my feet while we open our doors for the first time, I’ll be working closely with local food banks to do what I can to help those in need in the local area.”

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